Republicans on two House committees grill former Attorney General Loretta Lynch behind closed doors. A Democrat criticizes “a wild goose chase by the Republicans.”
A House investigation of how the Justice Department probed of the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties and Hillary Clinton’s emails is fizzling to a close after lawmakers interviewed their last scheduled witness and have no apparent plans to release a comprehensive report of their findings, the Washington Post reports. Former attorney general Loretta Lynch met behind closed doors with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees for nearly seven hours in what Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called “the swan song for a wild-goose chase by the Republicans.” Republicans insisted the proceedings were necessary to investigate allegations of bias in federal law enforcement agencies; Democrats accused them of trying to discredit the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The feuding is expected to continue, even as the probe ends and Democrats prepare to take charge of the House committees. The House Intelligence Committee voted in October to release transcripts of 53 interviews its members conducted, but none has materialized. Thus far, the Judiciary and Oversight panels have released only a few transcripts, the most recent from two closed-door interviews with former FBI director James Comey. Comey spent those sessions defending the FBI’s scrutiny of Trump, his campaign and transition, and the administration officials suspected of having ties to foreign governments. On Wednesday, Republicans asked Lynch to respond to arguments Comey made suggesting that Lynch’s June 2016 meeting in Phoenix with former president Bill Clinton and references to her in documents connecting her to the Clintons made it seem like she could not be an objective leader of the Justice Department. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said Lynch’s meeting with Clinton was suspect because Clinton was “a very powerful and wealthy man,” and Lynch might need his help finding a job.